Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
by Ted Slater on 02/05/2010 at 2:33 PM

Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend can be so disorienting. I know: I've gone through several failed relationships, including with two fiancées.

This morning I received an e-mail from a young woman who's in the midst of dealing with a broken relationship. She's given me permission to share it here:

* * *

I've recently ended a long dating relationship. It's been 5 months and I'm still in a great deal of pain, but he's moved on -- with an ex-close friend of mine.

I'm desperately in need of some wisdom on overcoming a love lost. We were together for three years and through that time went through some very emotionally intimate things (while maintaining very strict physical boundaries) that made us very close. He also told me that he loved me and that he wanted to marry me, but never followed through with a proposal.

Though we've had no contact since the break-up, I'm finding it extremely difficult to overcome this heart break. I do not believe God wants us together, but I don't know how to pick up the pieces now that we are apart. What do I do with the death of dreams, memories and time -- and what do I do with the searing pain of having been one's first and only love, especially now that he's so quickly moved on?

Any biblical advice would be helpful!

* * *

I have to confess that the first thought I had was, "Three years? Whoa, that's a long time to stay in a non-marital relationship. Maybe some of our readers can take your painful story as a warning against being in such an unintentional relationship for so long."

And I have to confess that the second thought I had was, "What kind of 'physical boundaries' can you have with someone when you're 'emotionally intimate' with them for three years?"

OK, now that I've got my cold-hearted first reactions out of the way (and let's not dwell too much on my admittedly un-empathetic reactions), let's get to the real issue here: How can we come through such heartache, after such a lengthy and vulnerable investment of time and emotions? What does the Bible say that can help us heal and grow?

We have published a few things over the years that may or may not be directly relevant:

And now this is where I turn it over to you, as most of you have had to work through the loss of love, and most of you are biblically literate. What words of comfort and counsel do you have to offer from Scripture and from your personal, painful experience?

Everything You Want to Know About Online Media Trends
by Motte Brown on 02/05/2010 at 12:30 PM

I'm fascinated by online media trends -- who's blogging, who's twittering, who's on Facebook and what's the next big thing. It's sort of the world I live in. So the new Pew study on social media and mobile use was like candy to me.

While poring through the data my single thought was, Wow! Things change fast! Take blogging for example. Not too long ago it seemed everyone was blogging, or was planning to. Who would have guessed it would hit a ceiling in 2007 with just 24 percent of young adults? In just two years the number of 18-29 year-olds has decreased nine percentage points to just 15 percent.

It makes you wonder. Is twittering the preferred method of communication now? Or are young adults combining their need for expressing themselves in the more communal online experience like Facebook?

The data suggest both are happening. Here are some of the more interesting findings:

  • Facebook is currently the most commonly-used online social network among adults. Among adult profile owners 73 percent have a profile on Facebook, 48 percent have a profile on MySpace and 14 percent have a LinkedIn profile.
  • Young adults lead the way when it comes to using Twitter or status updating. One-third of online 18-29 year olds post or read status updates.

And as for the preferred technology and method of accessing the internet:

  • 81 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are wireless internet users. By comparison, 63 percent of 30-49 year olds and 34 percent of those ages 50 and up access the internet wirelessly.
  • Roughly half of 18-29 year olds have accessed the internet wirelessly on a laptop (55 percent) or on a cell phone (55 percent), and about one quarter of 18-29 year-olds (28 percent) have accessed the internet wirelessly on another device such as an e-book reader or gaming device.
  • The impact of the mobile web can be seen in young adults' computer choices. Two-thirds of 18-29 year olds (66 percent) own a laptop or netbook, while 53 percent own a desktop computer. Young adults are the only age cohort for which laptop computers are more popular than desktops.

What do you guys think? Will twittering continue to rise or will it fall like blogging? Will Facebook continue its dominance or will something else come along? And will things like the iPad replace the laptop?

What is the next big thing?

Do Texting and Dating Mix?
by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin on 02/05/2010 at 9:55 AM

In response to my post "Navigating the New Relationship," a commenter asked:

Where does texting come into play? Specifically, I like a girl and am halfway pursuing her, and we text frequently. Is that a bad idea? And when is it too much? I text her because I don't want to always be calling her about little, stupid things that don't matter. On the flipside, she texts me as well. So when is texting OK and when should I man up and make the call, or just ask her out?

First of all, I admire you for giving this some thought. My personal belief is that in this day and age, text messaging will be a part of your relationship. And it can definitely play a positive role in the formation of a friendship with the person you are considering dating. Before I was dating Kevin, he texted me often. These messages let me know he was thinking about me and helped us have some low-pressure, playful interactions in the weeks that proceeded him asking me out (which he did not do over text).

I did a quick Internet search on texting and dating to see what was out there. Most of the articles said the same thing. Do not use texting to ask someone out or break up with them (duh). Understand that texts can be misunderstood, so don't use them to convey sensitive information (same goes for e-mail). And avoid the urge to reveal your "true feelings" over a text.

Most of these bits of advice are common sense. Don't give up the "real relationship" in exchange for being "texting buddies." Going back to the original question, "When should I man up and make the call or just ask her out?" If you're asking this question, it's probably time. To me, the red flag isn't that you're texting but that you're "halfway pursuing," as you say. Texting can only take a relationship so far.

After Kevin called and asked me out for that first date, texting remained a big part of our relationship; we even displayed some of our most meaningful text messages in our wedding slide show. To us, texting was an asset to our relationship (and continues to be). However, it is a communication form with limits. And because it is non-threatening, it has the potential to facilitate pseudo relationships. The true issue isn't text messaging but how you choose to use it.

He's Perfect But I Don't Love Him: Episode 107
by Motte Brown on 02/04/2010 at 3:37 PM

iTunes | Listen Now/RSS

The Super Ad -- 0:00
I'd like to take a moment to thank the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Women's Media Center for the role they played in making the Focus on the Family ad about the courageous, heart-warming story of Pam Tebow one of the most anticipated commercials in the history of the Super Bowl. Without your anti-life petitions to CBS on behalf of your pro-abortion constituency, the controversy over the ad may never have happened. Indeed, we may have never been able to generate two billion impressions and $7 million dollars worth of earned media to date. Be assured, God has used you in a mighty way. And we want to recognize it.

For more discussion on this "controversial" ad, listen to this week's Roundtable.

A 'Manly' Interview -- 18:30
Kevin Massey plays "Almanzo Wilder" in the wildly successful "Little House on the Prairie The Musical" playing throughout North America through June 2010. We were privileged to be able to talk with Kevin about the show, how God has blessed him in the tough-to-make-it world of the arts and balancing his work schedule with his personal life. Good stuff.

He's Perfect But I Don't Love Him -- 46:20
A young woman writes in about her boyfriend who's perfect in every way. The problem is, she doesn't love him. Or at least she doesn't think she does. She's open to the possibility that she doesn't really know what love is, but she's very concerned about the lack of passion. Will she regret it if she walks away?

I've seen this dilemma in various forms in some friends I know. I think it's a fairly common occurrence. Candice strikes the proper tone here and gives some great advice.

Not Just a Guy Problem
by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin on 02/04/2010 at 3:33 AM


When I was attending Bible college, we had a once-a-quarter dean's chapel where the sexes were separated. This gave the leadership an opportunity to address feminine issues with the women and masculine issues with the guys.

I remember going to lunch one day after chapel and having the guys refer jokingly to the event as "PMS chapel." Evidently, pornography, masturbation and sex were the main topics the dean of men felt were important to discuss with the male student body.

As Christians we tend to label certain sins male or female. Women gossip. Men struggle with pornography. I've heard it all my life. But the truth is, sometimes men are the ones with a gossip problem; and sometimes women struggle with porn. Sin is no respecter of persons. In fact, Satan may even use the labels to give us a false sense of security.

This was the case for Rachel Zoller, who wrote today's featured article: "It's Not Just a 'Guy Problem'." She assumed she couldn't get hooked on porn. But the day curiosity got the better of her, everything changed:

That first day I surfed for porn, I knew I shouldn't do it again. I hated what I did and how I had misused God's gift of sexuality. But I went back. I kept returning to those sites more and more frequently, and even began planning my day around having an online encounter. And as time passed, I searched for "harder" material to get the same rush. I was consumed by guilt but felt powerless to stop.

Men and women may have a greater propensity to certain sins because of how they are wired, but once sin is indulged it is massively destructive regardless of who you are. And the way out is the same -- repentance, confession and accountability. Speaking of her own journey, Zoller writes:

Two years into my addiction, I got the courage to confess my sin to my roommate, Hilda. I despised being bound by guilt from harboring this secret sin, and I decided that I was willing to be exposed in shame if that's what it took to free me from pornography. Hilda spent hours talking with me about my struggles and praying for me. She began to regularly ask where I'd been online. It was so difficult being honest with her, and it still took another two years -- and the involvement of a Christian counselor -- before I was completely free from porn.

If you are a woman, struggling with a "guy" sin or a man struggling with a "female" vice, you are not the only one. See the struggle for what it is (a destructive lie from Satan), seek help and move forward aggressively to stamp out sin in your life. Guilt and shame are tactics the enemy uses to keep God's children paralyzed and inactive. Freedom is the way of God, who abolished the death grip of sin through the gift of His Son, the Redeemer.

As Zoller proclaims: "As I walk in the truth and refuse to let secrecy reign in any area of my life, God is glorified. I'm not ashamed any longer of my years of sin. They are proof of God's loving kindness and that 'He is mighty to save' (Zephaniah 3:17)."

Living With Heathens
by Amanda Baker on 02/03/2010 at 3:28 PM

Sometimes it's important see things from an opposite perspective to truly understand where someone is coming from.

Kevin Roose, a recent graduate from Brown University, recently published a book called The Unlikely Disciple, in which he chronicled his journey as an undercover liberal at Liberty University, the largest evangelical liberal arts school in the country. He wanted to cross the "God Divide" and see for himself if Liberty housed genuine Christians, or if it was just another farce.

As a fellow journalist, I can appreciate Roose's drive to go undercover for a semester at a school where the mainstream trends include John Piper, Casting Crowns and a midnight curfew. However, Roose and I couldn't be more different.

Having been raised in a conservative Christian environment, I have completed my education through a mix of home school and Christian school education the past 21 years of my life. I've been active in my church and have cultivated Christian friends.

My definition of crossing the "God Divide" was to visit the side that Roose typically calls home, when he's not taking a semester off from his regular university to take Bible classes and learn about young-earth creation as one of "Jerry's kids." Diving into the liberal community was something new that I'd never tried before, and so I reasoned, what better place to start than the most politicized city in America: Washington, D.C.?

Without the intent of being secretive (as had been one of the factors of Roose's experiment), I applied for an internship with the Washington Times, packed business clothes and heels, and prepared to immerse myself for a summer in the heart of the nation's capital.

I shared a three-story townhouse with seven girls, and soon discovered that I was one of the few conservatives who lived there. Most of the girls were interning in democratic representatives' and senators' offices, and I was working at a newspaper that is the conservative answer to the Washington Post. They were from state universities, and I was from Liberty University. I stuck out like a sore thumb from the get-go, which made me wonder: Are these girls going to act the way I've always imagined non-Christ followers acting? Are they going to blacklist me because Liberty is stereotyped as a homosexual-hating, liberal-bashing, close-minded institution that churns out drones?

My presuppositions couldn't have been more wrong. From day one, even though I was open about the fact that I was from Liberty and I was a conservative Christian, the girls treated me no differently than they did each other. We ate meals together, watched reality television together, and enjoyed the same genres of music (the favorites that rose to the top were Taylor Swift and 90s pop music). The only thing we differed on was partying on the weekends. My Friday nights consisted of a movie from Netflix with my two roommates, while the rest of the girls frequented bars around the immediate area.

Ironically, one of the girls was reading through The Unlikely Disciple that summer, which opened up a lot of doors to talk about what life at Liberty was actually like. Conversations about faith cropped up on a regular basis (the question "Is there only one way to heaven?" was heavily debated for over an hour), and we visited churches of different denominations around our section of D.C. to see what each had to offer.

My perception of life outside the Christian bubble was remolded during my stay in D.C. Even though the girls I lived with partied on the weekends and occasionally used language that I wasn't a fan of, they looked out for each other. I learned more about friendship from girls who do not necessarily share my beliefs than I ever did from the Christian friends I had in high school. Even some of the self-professed Christians I met in college could have learned a thing or two from my housemates about respect and honesty.

My only lingering regret is that most of the girls did not know the Lord, though I tried my best to be a transparent example of Christ; regardless, I know God had a reason for me to be the lone conservative in a house full of liberals.

If we are followers of Christ, his love should overflow from our hearts into other people's lives, blessing them as we have been blessed. The challenge I took away from my summer experience was to live as my roommates lived, in one respect -- to treat everyone with love and respect, even if you disagree with their point of view. Dr. Del Tackett, professor and face of Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project," emphasizes that we as Christians must be attractively winsome to the rest of the world so that they will be curious about the Lord that redeemed us.

How funny that I pulled this lesson out of living with "heathens."

Engagement Stories: Keena & Sean
by Boundless Community on 02/03/2010 at 8:30 AM


My name is Keena, and I'm engaged to be married to Sean in July 2010. We met through our involvement with Campus Crusade in greater Boston when we were both college students there.

Given that I'm from California originally and he is from Boston, we spent a great deal of time during our multiyear courtship apart, with summer and winter breaks and my studying abroad. This strategy was great for helping us maintain our physical and emotional boundaries, but it made it difficult sometimes to assess where we would end up and whether to consider engagement and marriage as potential outcomes for this relationship.

Last fall, we were very encouraged by going through a pre-engagement counseling process with a pastor and his wife from our Boston area church.

After much prayer and thought, Sean decided to move to California to be closer to me and my family. God has been so faithful -- we've found and joined a local church, Sean has been living with Christian guys around his same age, and we've both been able to find work.

I have consulted Boundless for several years to help me build and encourage a worldview that values family, marriage and Christian ministry during the tumultuous 20s. I've passed along your resource to many of my friends, many still attending Wellesley College. Anyways, the actual proposal is below:

I had plans to meet my mom, brother, and sister at Disneyland at the end of a work day. I parked in some random parking lot far from the park. When I got on the shuttle, I looked out the window and spotted Sean's car in the parking lot. I immediately realized why Sean would be at Disneyland, and wanted to call someone to talk, but didn't want to blow the cover of anyone in on the surprise.

When I got off the bus, I found my mom and the kids. She directed me inside the park, where a family friend, Judie Ben, was waiting. Judie handed me a small envelope decorated with a sticker of a diamond solitaire, and inside was a card with small pictures. Bob Dole, a pine tree, an apple, a whip? to the Tiki Room, where you get Dole Pineapple Whips, my favorite dessert.

When we got there, I find my Aunt Nancy. She hands me a similar card. The card is clearly for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. When I get there, I get a third clue, from my step-dad Craig. This time, the "Bayou" and "Bling" indicate the jewelry store in New Orleans Square.

I finally arrive at the jewelry store, and get my last card -- a picture of a castle with Sean's handwriting -- "You know where to go...."

>I fight my way through the crowds towards the castle -- and see Sean standing alone in front of it. Sean gets quickly to one knee and says (something like...), "Keena, being with you for the past three year has been one of the best things in my life. I can't imagine any other person causing me to grow so much as an individual and with the Lord. Will you marry me?" I kind of nod, and he opens a ring box!

I was just really happy that Sean had gone to such great lengths to surprise me and include my family and friends. After all the excitement, we went to the nearest shop and picked up "Just Engaged!" pins. At the end of the evening, we watched fireworks. It just felt as though the whole evening was wonderful even to the last detail.

* * *

Do you have an engagement story of your own that you'd like to share? Send your photo and narrative to Please note that all stories that are selected for publication may be edited for clarity and privacy and become the property of Focus on the Family.

Navigating the New Relationship
by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin on 02/02/2010 at 2:53 PM

Someone recently wrote to Boundless, asking for advice on figuring out the ins and outs of a new relationship. Recently in a relationship with a godly guy, she's experiencing some bumps in the road as she and her suitor figure out how to go about their fledgling relationship.

She's looking for specifics: "How much time should we spend together?"; "Which activities are suitable for us to do together and which ones are not?"; "How often should we call each other and which one of us should do the calling?" And she asks, "Can you talk about some of your experiences navigating the early stages of your relationship?"

I can't fully deliver on the specifics (because I believe every relationship is different), but making a plan is a great strategy. At some point, I will write an article about planning your relationship. It's good to have an objective -- particularly in the area of physical boundaries. New relationships benefit when both people are willing to openly and honestly discuss how they would like to see their relationship play out. For example, my now-husband Kevin and I agreed together that we would not have sex (or put ourselves in situations where this could be an option) until marriage. Making this decision together up front proved to be very helpful to us in achieving the spiritual goals we had for our relationship (such as honoring God and being a testimony to others).

But beyond the hallmark aspects you want to maintain in any relationship -- sexual purity, spiritual growth, good communication, godly accountability and a positive influence on one another -- the specifics of a relationship can vary as much as the people involved. I once wrote an article called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff," where I encouraged readers to concentrate on what was really important about the person they were getting to know (e.g. character and compatibility) and not worry so much about the details.

The same holds true for the specifics of a relationship. A couple in which both parties are extroverted may be able to spend hours and hours together in groups, because their personalities thrive on those kinds of interactions, while those who prefer alone time may have to limit the time they spend with their significant other. Some couples may have no trouble praying together while others may discover that this spiritual activity is too bonding and leads to temptation. A personal example: I hate talking on the phone. So I had to ask Kevin to talk to me about important matters in person because I felt frustrated discussing them over the phone. Other couples I know forged their relationship almost entirely by phone.

The "bumps in the road" that each couple experiences will vary. But it's not abnormal when encountering these issues to have to make adjustments and set standards. Navigate your relationship based on the principle of wisdom and your overall plan as a couple. Handle the details on a case-by-case basis. Feel like you're spending too much time together? Dial it back a notch and see if you feel more comfortable. Curious if an activity is OK to do together? Seek out the advice of a trusted mentor or church leader. There are many ways to deal with potential problems as they arise.

Beginning a relationship is exciting and a little scary at times. But the best thing about it is that God provides you with wisdom and freedom to shape your relationship into one that brings Him glory. So make a plan to have a relationship that is above reproach, but don't complicate it with unnecessary "rules." Trust in what God is doing and seek His wisdom every day. Then you will give Him the room to work His perfect plan in your relationship.

Power Words
by Matt Kaufman on 02/02/2010 at 11:36 AM


My column today focuses on The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington as a man protecting the last Bible on earth in a post-apocalyptic future. Washington is a Christian and he wanted to make a movie which would express much of his faith, while still being viable as a mainstream movie. Reportedly he reworked some of his character's dialogue to that end.

The movie has some story problems and a good deal of graphic and (I thought) gratuitous violence. But it does bring in some Scriptural themes that can make for a good discussion. (Read the column for more details.)

So let's discuss. I'd especially (though not exclusively) like to hear from people who've seen the movie. What did you think, and what did you get out of it?

'An Evolution in Marriage'
by Matt Kaufman on 02/02/2010 at 8:50 AM

I hate to write about homosexuality twice in one week, but a response to my last post brings up some must reading for anyone who imagines that same-sex marriage would be somehow/kinda/sorta like anything we'd call, well, marriage.

"Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret," proclaims a headline in The New York Times. And they do mean "open": These couples routinely cheat on each other -- by mutual agreement. They just don't call it cheating.

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years -- about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

That consent is key. "With straight people, it's called affairs or cheating," said Colleen Hoff, the study's principal investigator, "but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations."

"None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it," the Times notes -- partly because they're "worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage."

What's especially noteworthy is that neither the study's authors nor the Times writer are trying to make gays look bad. On the contrary -- as the headline's reference to "successful" relationships makes clear -- they consider all this a good thing.

Some more excerpts from the story (which doesn't quote anyone who finds these arrangements disturbing):

Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage -- one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

* * *

That transparency can make relationships stronger, said Joe Quirk, author of the best-selling relationship book It's Not You, It's Biology.

"The combination of freedom and mutual understanding can foster a unique level of trust," Mr. Quirk, of Oakland, said.

"The traditional American marriage is in crisis, and we need insight," he said, citing the fresh perspective gay couples bring to matrimony. "If innovation in marriage is going to occur, it will be spearheaded by homosexual marriages."

Talk about laying it on thick. Evolution. Fresh perspective. Insight. Innovation. It's all progress, y'see. We're not undermining marriage here: We're saving it.

If this is salvation, it's funny how it calls to mind the (apocryphal) phrase during the Vietnam War: "We had to destroy the village to save it."

Put a Ring on It
by Heather Koerner on 02/01/2010 at 1:20 PM

I didn't watch the Grammys last night, but I did hear a wrap-up of the winners this morning while listening to my car radio. While most of them went in one ear and out the other, two things did catch my attention. One, that Taylor Swift won Album of the Year. I'm not a huge Swift fan but it did remind me to someday have a Lisa v. Heather blog fight over country music. May I convert her to the Strait and narrow way.

The second was that Beyonce won Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."

Before I start to sound even remotely pop culturally relevant, I want to cement my nerdness by saying I've never even heard of three of the five nominees for Song of the Year. I don't know when or where I first heard "Single Ladies." I didn't go see that chipmunk movie, so I know it wasn't there. But sometime last year, I did hear it. And I was intrigued.

If you've never heard it, I'm not linking you to You Tube because the video is ... well, I'm just not going there. But the gist of it is: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Breaks Up with Girl, Girl Cries, Boy Sees Girl with New Guy, Boy Starts to Pay Attention Again. Here's Beyonce's lyrical response to Boy:

I'm up on him, He up on me
Don't pay him any attention
Just cried my tears, for three good years
Ya can't be mad at me
Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don't be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Oh, oh, oh

In other words, if you were serious about me, you should have made a commitment. And not just any commitment, but a ring.

Admitting that I don't hear hit pop songs that often, I hear them mention marriage even less. Love, sure. Forever, maybe. But marriage? A ring? I can't remember the last one.

Makes me wonder if Beyonce has hit a chord with some "single ladies" out there. Women who are tired of the hookup culture. Tired of having to use "sexy" to describe their clothes. Women who are realizing that sex with multiple partners isn't liberating, it's just painful.

What do you think? If you know the song, does "Put a Ring on It" signal a longing for marriage out there in pop world that has been largely ignored? Or is it just radio candy?

Their Tender Consciences
by Tom Neven on 01/29/2010 at 11:06 AM

Steve's blog about the protests of the Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad featuring Pam and Tim Tebow is but a small portion of a much larger picture.

From my new home here in Florida (well, not new new, since I grew up here), I see even more coverage of the "controversy," particularly because of the Tebow angle, but also because Florida has been through this before.

Ten years ago the state introduced a "Choose Life" license plate that drivers were free to choose—or not. Purely up to them.

But immediately various pro-abortion groups and allegedly pro-women groups filed suit to stop the plate. The reasons given were that the plate was:

  • Too religious
  • Too political
  • Supported terrorism

No joke. In December 2002 Barry Silver, representing the Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women, actually said:

The big issue for me and my clients is that our country is faced with terrorism from abroad, but in Florida, we’ve seen homegrown terrorism specifically by religious fanatics against abortion clinics. Their slogan of choice is "Choose Life." The last thing we want to do is put the state’s imprimatur on a slogan that is used to sow violence and domestic terrorism.

The suits were eventually tossed on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing, specifically that they had not been harmed by being denied an opportunity to produce a license plate with their own message. In fact, they had never attempted to communicate their own message; they just wanted to gag the one they didn't like.

That's what happening here with the Super Bowl ad. Rather than produce and pay for their own commercial, they just try to shut down one they don't like.

Their behavior calls to mind something that Boundless' own Dr. J Budziszewski says in his excellent book The Revenge of Conscience.

People engaged in or advocating things that deep in their hearts they know are wrong try to silence that nagging feeling by encouraging more of that behavior, either in themselves or in others. That's why drunks will often encourage others to get drunk. It's why many homosexuals don't want just to be left alone; they want others to actively affirm their behavior. It’s why some women encourage abortion or, in one tragic case he cites, have one abortion after another. Somehow they rationalize that if there were more of this behavior, in themselves or others, their own consciences won't be as bothered.

But here's the pertinent point: This also explains why they're not satisfied merely to advocate or engage in a behavior; they must actively suppress anything that might prick their consciences, such as something encouraging the opposite behavior. Or even just suggesting the opposite behavior.

Dr. Budziszewski's thesis is deeply insightful on both a psychological and spiritual basis. It explains a lot of what we see in our world, and it explains very well the behavior of those now trying to silence opposing veiwpoints.

Don't Ask, Do Tell?
by Matt Kaufman on 01/29/2010 at 5:56 AM

The other night President Obama renewed the call for Congress to repeal the military "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuality. Which means it's also time to revisit why that's a bad idea.

The longstanding military ban on homosexuality has never been based mainly on the moral arguments over the issue. It's based on issues of troop cohesion and morale. The military cares less about whether homosexuality is bad per se than whether it's bad for the military.

If you know anything about military life, you know the answer. I don't want to get graphic here, but hey: You don't make soldiers share quarters -- and showers -- when sexuality of any sort is in play. Doing it with men and women would be a disaster. And throwing in homosexuality would just make matters that much worse. This is the reality of the situation, and military officials don't have the luxury of pretending otherwise even if they wanted to.

But then, the push to change the policy isn't really coming from inside the military. It's coming from gay activists on the outside. And it's hard to imagine that's because they believe the military needs gay soldiers. What's best for the military isn't their priority. Their priority is officially erasing all stigma from homosexuality and discrediting anyone who objects. If most soldiers don't like it, that's their problem; if they leave in droves, good riddance. (Presumably those who remain must be subjected to "diversity training" to purge them of un-progressive attitudes.)

Which tells us something about gay activists. It tells you that their cause overrides all other considerations, even national security. But politicians who indulge them ought to have higher priorities. Like keeping all of us safe.

Why Don't You Consult
by Ted Slater on 01/28/2010 at 3:59 PM

I had some questions about "extreme bromances" a few days ago, so I wrote a blog about it. The responses have been very helpful as I prepare to work with one of our authors to write an in-depth article on this issue.

Now I'd like to toss out another question. And it's a sincere one. If you don't read movie reviews, why don't you?

You probably read reviews on other things you spend money on -- an automobile, a stereo, a book -- why not research a film to determine if it's worth seeing before you plunk down $10? I love that they're free, and written by knowledgeable folks who share my worldview. And so I'm genuinely interested in understanding why someone wouldn't check them out.

Again, this is a sincere question, and not simply Ted being snide and rhetorical....

"If You're Single, You're Not Busy" Part 2: Episode 106
by Motte Brown on 01/28/2010 at 2:58 PM

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Facebook Etiquette -- 0:00
Some people thrive on Facebook. Others, like me, do not.

It's not that I don't appreciate Facebook (or any other social networking site for that matter). I do. It's just not my thing. So please don't be offended if I don't respond to your friend requests, acknowledge your birthday, join your groups, or generally just ignore you altogether in the virtual world. And I won't feel guilty about it either because according to, none of this is a breach of Facebook etiquette.

This from their article Facebook Etiquette: 10 Rules for Better Socializing:

Ignore away. You are under no obligation to acknowledge a Facebook friend request, whether it comes from a stranger or from someone you know but don't want as part of your digital life. After all, you wouldn't be obliged to seat visitors at your dinner table if they showed up without warning at your house at 7 o'clock. (One alternative way of dealing with this situation is to add iffy contacts to a severely restricted limited profile list.)

Anyway, we get into all this on the roundtable ... sans Lisa Anderson who was out sick with a bad cold. Just wanted to warn all you uber Lisa fans.

"If You're Single, You're Not Busy" Part 2 -- 10:22
This quote from Pastor Bob Thune of Coram Deo Church sparked a mini-controversy on the Boundless blog a couple of weeks ago. So we wanted to chat with Pastor Thune and ask him to qualify his stance on singles serving in the church. It's a great interview you won't want to miss.

My Husband Dates Other Women -- 29:43
Well, he wouldn't call them "dates." But it comes close. This week's question is from a frustrated newlywed whose husband is still "going out" with his female friends. Is it OK for him to enjoy one-on-one company and companionship from other women? Our resident licensed marriage and family counselor Mitch Temple joins us this week to answer that oft asked question.

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